My basement lighting is all wired on a single circuit, it used to be one room but previous owners have split off sections. Yet all the lights come on at the same time. The furnace room has a fluorescent fixture in it, however I would like that room to be dark (I'm looking for a place to put a mealworm farm).

In the case I need light again, I'd rather not disconnect and cap the wiring, and instead just pull the bulb, however I know the startup procedure for a fluorescent bulb is special.

Will running a fluorescent fixture without a bulb cause it damage and/or to waste electricity?

2 Answers 2


With no bulb in the fixture there is no current path through it and it's effectively disconnected from the AC power. No issues.

  • In some arrangements, the ballast is connected to the mains and the bulb to the ballast. So the ballast is energized, though minimally.
    – nogasbiker
    Jan 6 at 17:45
  • Yeah, it's probably not an LED conversion... Jan 7 at 22:58

Should be fine.

The ballast will be trying to start the bulbs, and won't be able to, but that will only bother a few badly made ballasts. Would be bad for an HPS, but that is not a fluorescent.

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